Pattern drafting: first attempt at skirt sloper

Skirt sloper version 1 - front

My adventures in pattern drafting are in full swing over here!  This weekend I drafted an initial skirt sloper using the same book I used for my bodice sloper, and you can see the results above.  I can’t say that I’m happy with the current state of the sloper, but it’s really not all that bad for a first attempt.  Take a look at the photos and let me know what you think.  : )

Skirt sloper version 1 - back

Like last time, I’ve included two side views below: one in my normal standing posture, and one with my arms out of the way so you can see the side seams.

Skirt sloper version 1 - side Skirt sloper version 1 - side with arms up

Aren’t these muslin shots so glamorous?  Hair all scrunched up, no makeup, and not even a smile on my face!  I’m in serious technical mode here, ha.  : )

There will definitely be more rounds of alterations on this skirt/bodice combination, but I’m pleased that at least it’s not too far out of whack.  Here are some issues that stand out to me right away:

1 – On the front of the sloper, there’s quite a bit of extra fabric between the bust and the waist.  It’s interesting that the bodice seemed ok on its own, but no longer fits as well once I attached the skirt.  Are you as fascinated by this as I am??  So much to learn!  I haven’t yet decided how to fix this issue, but I’m mulling it over.  Comments welcome.

2 – I think the waistline needs to be moved up about 1.5 inches all around.  I’m not a fan of high waistlines, but the front of the sloper just looks “off” to me, and it does seem to fit better when I hike up the waist a bit.  Hmmmm.

3 – The back seems to be *just* a little tight at the fullest part of my rear end.  Too many cookies perhaps?  : )

4 – The bodice and skirt darts don’t line up on either the front or back of the sloper.  Drafting error – oops!  This one’s easy to fix though.

There are other fitting issues to work out, but I think I’ll start with these for the next version of the muslin.  (Guys, how exciting is it that I pretty much drafted my own dress at this point??)

Skirt sloper version 1 - drafting diagram

If you’re curious, here’s the line drawing of the skirt pattern pieces from the Handford drafting book.  The skirt was much easier to draft than the bodice, thankfully!  The sloper is a simple straight cut, but the book goes through a few dozen variations – A-line, gored, paneled, etc.  Lots of options for later.

Skirt sloper version 1 - skirt pattern pieces

And here are my drafted pattern pieces.  Nothing too complicated!

Skirt sloper version 1 - detail of skirt waistlineOne interesting tip from the book was to gently curve the waistline of the skirt, which seemed to work out well when I attached it to the bodice.  Above you can see my original, straight horizontal line for the waist, and then my curved lines slightly below it.  I folded the dart out to get a smooth curve all the way across.  This is fascinating stuff, people!

Right now the thought of another round of alterations makes me want to jump out the window, so I think I’ll stew on it for a few days and stare at the photos a bit more.  This is one of the great benefits of blogging, I think — being able to scrutinize photos of your works-in-progress.

In the meantime, if you have any ideas about how to improve the fit, I’m all ears.  And thank you all for your comments on the bodice sloper!  The online sewing community is pretty awesome, no?  : )

2 thoughts on “Pattern drafting: first attempt at skirt sloper

  1. From the front I think the skirt already looks pretty good. I think you’re right that the waistline should be higher though. I also think that the darts on the back of your skirt might be too long by at least an inch but that might improve when you raise the skirt.


    • Thanks Emmely. Yeah, I noticed that those back darts were super long, but that seems to be how the book tells you to do it. We’ll see how it looks when I move the waistline up a bit. Thankfully moving darts is one of the easier types of alterations to make!


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